This ‘Plain Jane’ book is a true gem! The copy I have from my library is bound in orange with white lettering on the spine. This is no indication of the wealth of information that is within the covers. While there are no color photographs and mostly just patterns for motifs, there is a lot of useful information here that I have not found in other books.

Here’s an example of the clear and concise graphics in the book:

If you like crocheted flower lace, this is the book for you! My favorite of such patterns is on page 170 and is called ‘flower lace’. It’s a seemingly intricate hexagon pattern, with each hexagon containing a delicate 6 petalled flower. The pattern is actually quite simple, containing only chains and treble clusters, and would make a lovely babyghan or shawl. Along these same lines is the ‘troika pattern’ and several flower squares which appear both old fashioned and modern!

Here’s a tunic that could be from 1970 or 2007!

Have you heard of Peruvian Filigeree? I never had. This pattern is slated as useful for mats, tablecloths, stoles, blouses, afghans, draperies, shopping bags, etc. Quite versatile indeed – and lovely too. Another beauty is the star filet. I have not seen this elsewhere – but I’m not a filet expert, so consider your source. Here’s something I plan to try – and I haven’t seen it elsewhere:

Two Colored Bows:

Another goodie is the ‘Expanding Shells’ which would work perfectly for capelets and skirts and which I can see as an adornment for a lampshade.

One section of this versatile book encourages you to Design Your Own Items with Set-Together Motifs with squares and patterns for everything from pet coats to cosmetic bags, pillows, and upholstery fabric. One stop shopping.

But, my favorite section of this book is the section on gift package adornments. Had you considered crocheting poinsettias or chrysanthemums to enhance your gifts? Well, this book will make you want to get busy with your yarn scraps to work up special package adornments.

Here’s the poinsettia package decoration:

The book is 244 pages and was published in 1972 by author Barbara Aytes. ISBN 0385084927. This book is available from online used book vendors for prices ranging from $9.99 to $143.00! I guess I’m not the only one who thinks this book is a gem!


  1. Sandra Perez says

    I knew who wrote it the moment I saw the two tone bow picture, it also features in her Adventures in Knitting, which I learned to knit with. I will now be looking to get this one also, since I have crocheted longer than I have knitted; loved her one book, am sure will love the other.


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